Deconstructing “Racism”

Race and racism have become central to modern politics. Nearly every political question, no matter how trivial or benign, is turned into an issue of race. Leftists thrive on non-white identity politics, while conservatives typically avoid the issue. They often claim they are above it all and wish that their political opponents would simply stop racializing political issues. But this is never going to happen. Asking the Left to stop playing identity politics is comparable to asking one football team to quit scoring so many touchdowns because it is unfair to their opponents. Identity politics is a winning strategy for the Left. This is especially true because the Right refuses to play the identity politics game. It has been a one-sided battle for over fifty years now.

If you are reading this essay you are probably a disaffected conservative or libertarian (or maybe even a progressive) who is sick and tired of being beaten over the head with the dreaded “R” word. Racism is a very complex issue and takes a complex approach to understanding it. 

What is “Racism”?

Most people think that “racism” is disliking someone simply because he belongs to a different race. But “racism” is much more complicated than that. To quote a passage from Wilmot Robertson’s The Dispossessed Majority: 

As the idea is to ideology, so the concept of race is to racism. This leads to the definition of racism as a belief in the race idea. But belief implies some measure of assent, some inward or outward activation of the belief. Racism, accordingly, can be described as the overt or covert expression of the concept of race at one or more levels of human activity-in politics, art, religion, business, community life, and in the privacy of the home.[1]

Perhaps, now you see why the Republican party is called racist all the time. The GOP is not a white Identitarian or White Nationalist party. However, it is a party that is almost exclusively made up of white people. The policies the GOP advocates for may not appear to be racist on the surface but are implicitly racist because they are claiming to represent what are seemingly white interests. This is that covert expression of race and the GOP is very guilty of dog-whistling on such issues, i.e., talking about welfare queens, illegal immigration, and urban crime. Sadly, the GOP does nothing to actually address these issues. They just talk about them to keep white voters in their ranks.

When white people express their self-interest as a group, they are called racists for doing so. When non-whites express their self-interest as a group, they are called heroic. This is a blatant double standard. This racism thing seems to be a one-way street. It only works against white interests. 

Political Correctness, Heresy, & the Church of Secular Liberalism

Americans often believe in the misconception that the USA is a free country. This is not entirely true. It is true that people are not being sent to Gulags, jailed, or put to death for their speech. However, if one dabbles in thoughtcrime, you might find yourself socially ostracized, out of a job, and unemployable in the future. You don’t need the government to stifle speech when corporations, NGOs, universities, Hollywood, and the media are doing a great job of keeping a lid on what is or is not acceptable speech in public discourse. Although, with the rise of the Alt Right and the demographic shift taking place in this country, do not be surprised if “hate speech” laws become a reality within our lifetime. A kind of soft totalitarianism exists within our society, and the policing is mostly done by the elite managerial class. These managers are also the ideological enforcers. They essentially constitute the “state.”

What is the ideology of the elites? Secular Liberalism. Liberalism is a belief in things such as democracy, liberty, and equality; especially the equality part. The USA is just as much of an ideological entity as the Fascist and Communist regimes of the past, minus the hard totalitarianism. In order for a society to be functional, its citizenry must be ideologically aligned with the “state.” Society would not function very well if half of the electorate were Communists and half of the electorate were Fascists. Such a society would eventually collapse into civil war. So everyone living under the Secular Liberal state of the USA must be some kind of a secular liberal, i.e., a libertarian, a conservative, or a progressive. While these various factions may bicker about tax rates or government programs, they all agree to the orthodoxy of Secular Liberalism in their own way: that all human beings are created equal.

What if you do not believe that all human beings are created equal? As Ramzpaul puts it: “In Soviet Russia, you would be called a counter-revolutionary for challenging the state ideology. In Soviet America, you would be called a racist for challenging the state ideology.”

Enter the Alt Right.

You may ask be asking yourself, “What is or isn’t racist?” Lots of things are racist. Using the dreaded nigger word in conversation is racist, and most everyone would agree that is racist. However, talking about the correlation between race and IQ or race and crime is also called racist by the thought police. Why is that? Using a racial slur or citing scientific evidence that race is a biological reality with real social consequences are both racist, because they involve differentiation. You have distinguished between us and them. This implies that there are different groups, and difference is not equality. You have challenged the ruling ideology. You have committed heresy in the church of Secular Liberalism.

Secular Liberalism—which includes multiculturalism, egalitarianism, and political correctness—really is a religion because it takes faith to believe in things contrary to evidence. The Alt Right is a movement of heretics. Whether we are using offensive language or scientific evidence, we are making our point that there is an us and a them; that race is biologically real. 

Only White People Can Be Racist

If you have been paying attention to the changes in political discourse over the past decade or so, you may have run across the meme that “only white people can be racist.” Now, you might think that this statement is racist towards white people (what is also sometimes called reverse racism). Reverse racism is an interesting concept because it implies that normal racism is a sin only committed by white people against other races. So-called “anti-racists” promote the idea that there is no such thing as reverse racism, or no such thing as racism against whites. They often cite the mantra that racism is power plus prejudice. Since white people are the only people in society with power, they are the only people in society who are racist. Of course, whites do not hold all the power in American society. If we did, do you really think we would advocate an immigration policy that diminishes our power, ultimately to nothing? Worst. White Supremacy. Ever. 

Understanding White Privilege

Critical Race Theory (CRT) promotes the idea of “white privilege.” Most whites scoff at the notion that by virtue of our race that we have some kind of in-born privilege. But if you reply that you grew up in a lower-middle class environment and had to work for everything in your life to get to where you are, it falls on deaf ears. “White privilege” is the notion that you live in a society whose institutions, culture, and history were forged by white people for the benefit of their posterity (you). Also, it is the notion that whites have passive advantages that you may not know about, which distinguishes white privilege from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth, presumed greater social status, and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely.

So, in Japan, do the Japanese have Japanese privilege? Do the Nigerians have Nigerian privilege in Nigeria? What about the Nicaraguans? Do Jews in Israel have Jewish privilege? You get the picture. Isn’t it a good thing that people create a society in which they and their posterity will feel at home? Do you think the Japanese would’ve built up their culture, institutions, etc. just to hand it all over to Somalians? Of course not! Is it a crime that Japanese people get to enjoy the fruits of their ancestors hard work and sacrifice? Of course not. So why should white people feel guilty about having white privilege? If non-whites don’t feel at home in white societies, we do not have to accommodate them. They just have to go home.

White guilt is what drives the white privilege narrative. Without it, it would go nowhere. The moment that whites drop the slave morality of “checking their privilege” and start embracing the master morality of taking their own side, then it falls apart. With that said, white privilege—which is really no privilege at all, but the basic right to feel at home somewhere on this planet—is great and we need more of it! 

White Guilt

White guilt is a powerful force all throughout North America and Western Europe. Jewish American professor Paul Gottfried wrote a book about it, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Towards a Secular Theocracy, in which he discusses how celebrations of diversity, multiculturalism, and white guilt are degrading our once dominant Western culture. Another term for White guilt is ethno-masochism, which Guillaume Faye describes as, “the masochistic tendency to blame and devalue one’s ethnicity, one’s own people.” It is all part of a collective psychopathology, provoked by a concerted propaganda campaign to make European feel guilty about how they’ve treated other peoples. It is part of an original sin of the European man’s intrinsic racism and he must feel guilty for who he is.[2]

White guilt manifests itself in a variety of ways. From trans-racial adoptions, to miscegenation, to excuses for why we must permit endless mass third world immigration, to pandering to Black Lives Matter, and to endless apologetics for being racist for taking our own side. When will whites finally be absolved of their original sin of racism? Likely never. 

Why the Hate?

To quote Finnish nationalist intellectual Kai Murros, “without hate, one cannot possibly know love.” Some people seem hateful because they are fueled by a passionate desire to protect what they love and cherish: their race, their culture, their homelands, and their way of life. The notion of loving everyone and hating hate is just a mindless Leftist cliché.

It is impossible to love everyone, and if you could, then your love would ultimately be meaningless. If you love everyone, then you love no one. Love is a very powerful emotion and should only be reserved for a limited amount of people, typically only people who would reciprocate those feelings.

Since love is powerful, so is hate. Hate does not come from nowhere. Hate comes because we love. We hate those who try and harm the people and things we love. With that said, people do not typically hate those they do not know, have never met, and are not trying to destroy the things we love. For example, most people do not hate the people of New Guinea because they have never met any before. They aren’t in our lands, they aren’t assaulting our people, and they aren’t destroying our way of life. It is only when we are made to live in close proximity to those unlike ourselves that we hate others.

Harvard professor Robert Putnam wrote a whole book about this, Bowling Alone, where being close proximity to diversity makes us dislike and distrust our neighbors. It drains our communities of social capital.

So yes, in the Alt Right you will find those who are prejudiced towards others. However, I do not think their prejudices are entirely unwarranted. If you felt your way of life was being destroyed by another group of people, don’t you think you’d be a tad bit prejudiced towards that group? 

Conclusion

There is a limited amount of space on this planet for all of the people in the world to exist. Africa is for Africans, Asia is for Asians, but white countries are for everyone. Only white countries are practicing multiculturalism, and there is no sign that other countries will adopt it. Since space is limited, when non-whites arrive in white countries, they have appropriated space that once belonged to us for our culture and our way of life. When they arrive, they begin dabbling in politics and reducing our political power in our homelands. Once demographics have shifted enough, eventually whites will not be able to exercise any political power or self-determination in deciding their destinies in our own homelands. This is why we do not have time for political correctness. This is why we do not care about being called racists. This is why you will see some people in the Alt Right expressing prejudice. Our race, our culture, our traditions, our ways of life are being threatened with extinction. Mexico will always be Mexican. Japan will always be Japanese. But will White Americans have a place to call home? Will the English have a place to call home? How about the French? Based on current demographic trends they won’t. The Alt Right aims to fix that.

Originally Published at Counter-Currents

Notes

1. Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority (Cape Canaveral, Florida: Howard Allen, 1981), p.7.

2. Guillaume Faye, Why We Fight (London: Arktos, 2011), p. 136

Posted in Reactionary | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

No Muscles in Brussels

For those of you out in Rio Rhinelander, Hungary held a referendum that was held to decide whether Hungary should be forced by the EU to accept migrants. On October 2nd, the vote was held and Hungarians voted a resounding 98% ‘No’ to EU migrants. However, in order for the referendum to be valid, over 50% of the electorate must vote. Despite falling just short of the 50% threshold with 44% of the electorate, Prime Minister Viktor Orban is standing up and telling Brussels that Hungary will still not accept migrants. In his speech, Orban noted that more people voted in this referendum than voted back in 2003 to decide whether or not Hungary should be in the EU. Orban then followed up by saying that the next step was to pass a constitutional amendment which will “clearly state that without the consent of the Hungarian Parliament, Brussels cannot force Hungary to accede to any EU requirement with regard to migrants.” Now we get to witness a standoff between Viktor Orban and the bureaucrats in Brussels.

Not only will get to witness this showdown but we will continue to witness the slow but sure dissolution of the European Union. With many European countries in economic distress being compounded by the ongoing refugee crisis, it appears that the EU simply does not have the muscle to hold together their economic empire. It appears their muscles have atrophied.

As we witnessed earlier this year, the Nigel Farage-led coalition of Brexit was a successful referendum and it appears that new United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May will see to carrying out the will of the English people. Since the victorious Brexit vote, there have been calls in other countries such as France, Greece, and Austria to also leave the EU.

It appears the emperor wears no clothes.

Some pan-European advocates in the alt right feel that the European Union as an institution can be useful in the future for a United Europe. This could be possible if the managerial class of Eurocrats in Brussels were identitarians. However, they are not. This does not leave many political options available to identitarians other than populist revolt against the managerial elites. Samuel Francis described those being dispossessed of their identity, their country and their culture as ‘Middle American Radicals’ (MARs) and that populist rage would be the only way to take back our country from the corrupt globalist elites. Well it appears in Europe, we are seeing exactly this. Time is of the essence and the time simply does not exist to attempt to reform the managerial class. Instead, they must be destroyed.

With that said, pan-European advocates and ethno-nationalists alike should rejoice as we witness the destruction of the EU Leviathan.

 

Originally Published at Fash The Nation

Posted in Reactionary | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Forest and The ‘Faustian’ Soul

Originally Published at The Imaginative Conservative

Deep roots are untouched by frost. —J.R.R Tolkien

It has been said that the Germanic soul and the forest are one and the same thing: the mythological Forest that contrasts the splendid isolation of man in his solitude against the infinity of nature. Only this kind of soul could have such a word in its language as Waldeinsamkeit—”Forest-loneliness”—just as one of the most moving passages in Western literature is the Easter scene in Goethe’s Faust: “A longing pure and not to be described/drove me to wander over woods and fields/and in a mist of hot abundant tears/I felt a world arise and live for me.” Northern legends have been built around certain species of trees—firs, ash, oak, elm—and in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, the representative of German Romanticism at its height, dense walls of magnificent trees dwarf a lone Napoleonic soldier—a metaphorical relationship that is withdrawn, fortress-like, dark and impenetrable. The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm all took place in the woods, while Siegfried, Parsifal, Tristan, Hamlet, Faust—those quintessentially Northern heroes—all longed for the woods in which their inner lives were awakened. Oswald Spengler, the maniacally erudite German historian, wrote in his Untergang des Abenlandes(“Decline of the West”) of the northern “longing for the woods; the mysterious compassion, the ineffable sense of forsakenness” and compared “Faustian” man—his Western ideal—with the Classical men of Antiquity, writing that “the rustle of the woods, a charm that no Classical poet ever felt, stands with its secret questions—whence, whither?”

The Forest: so invigorating and baptismal, suffused with those Goethean echoes that reverberate the lyrical tristesse of the high-minded loner; its contemplative splendor broken only by an occasional spray of sun-rays, like “fitful light-flecks playing in their shadow-filled volume,” as writes our Dr. Spengler. Indeed, if God made man in His image, one may say that Nature had her say and added three elements of her own: the Sea, the Stone and, above all, the Forest. The Sea—representing that which is rational, clear, enlightened in a man’s soul; Stone—to express his need to give shape to history, experience and memory. But most profoundly, the Forest—the darkness within him; a silent summons from deep within the murmur of trees giving rise to a man’s discovery of his own, authentic voice.

For Spengler, Classical man was the Apollonian—an individual, static entity, for whom History is mythological, anecdotal, ever-present. He is city-states, public life, political life, Doric and Euclidean. The “anxious, caring” Faustian, on the other hand, who “blossomed forth with the birth of the Romanesque style,” is forever tending-towards and looking-back; he is perspective depth in painting, he is the irrepressible discoverer of continents and the explorer of ocean floors. The Apollonian “is the nude statue; the Faustian the art of the Fugue;” in art, the former is calculated contours; the latter—light and shade. The Apollonian is Delphi, Olympus, and Elysium; the Faustian is Valhalla, Avalon, and the Grail. The Apollonian sees himself in Homeric epic; the Faustian in the Gallilean, Catholic, and Protestant; he is shaped by Baroque dynasties, Dante’s Beatrice, and… Faust. (There is, too, a third civilization-soul, the Magian, belonging to Judaic-Islamic and “Oriental” cultures). Faustian man is, in sum, the Forest, “restless and unsatisfied,” like an oak “straining beyond its summit” or a linden tree, which between sun and shadow is “bodiless, boundless, spiritual.”

The Forest, expressed as the soul of the West, takes shape in the highest creations of art, religious architecture, music, literature, and in the Western sense of Destiny and Duration—the “rootedness” of a man’s spirit, family, and legacy. In architecture, the great forests of the northern plains, wrote Spengler, were the inspiration for cathedrals, their interiors mixed with mysterious light, “the endless, lonely, twilight wood… the secret wistfulness of all Western building forms.” In his work, Le Genie du Christianisme(“The Genius of Christianity”), the 19th-century French writer, Chateaubriand, attributed the development of Gothic cathedrals to worship under tree arches. The French sacred-art historian, Emile Mâle, evoking the dramatic relationship of that architecture to the works of Nature, wrote that “the cathedral, like the plain or forest, has atmosphere and perfume, splendor and twilight… and gloom.”

The Forest is classical music: There is Siegfried—the hero who never knew Fear—born in the forest and killed in them, whose glorious Rheinfahrt in Act One of theGötterdammerung seems to bring the listener in, layer after layer, deeper into a pitch-black world of clan-loyalties, blood-ties, soil, and seed—all within a cavernous labyrinth of Wald. There is the high Romanticism of Carl von Weber’s magisterial Der Freischutz, a ghost-story opera of a huntsman, his bride, and the Devil that takes place during the Thirty Years’ War. That work’s famously frightening “Wolf Glen” scene is a twenty-minute excursion into sylvan ecstasy that one British critic from The Timessaid must be heard “late at night, with the lights off, and no more than a glow from the amplifier panel.” Even the shape of a Church high-organ, the invention of which is one of the most emotional chapters in the history of Western music, is, Spengler writes, “a history of a longing for the Forest, a longing to speak in the language of that true temple of the Western soul.” And I challenge anyone to listen to Elizabeth Schwarzkopf sing Richard Strauss’ “Morgen” and not see a lush mist breaking over a crusader castle-ruin, one fortified by woods, but vulnerable to troubadors….

The Forest is literature: For the deeply spiritual Bohemian-Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, God was not to be found in painting, sculpture, or icons, but living on in the dark woods, to be portrayed “not with lapis or gold, but color made of apple bark.” In his beautiful Stundenbuch (“Book of Hours”), Rilke writes in a series of love letters to God: “Often I imagine you, your wholeness cascades into many shapes. You run like a herd of luminous deer and I am dark. I am forest.” Robert Musil, the cranky and brilliant Austrian author behind Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften (“The Man Without Qualities”), in contemplating human relations, writes of “love, this ancient forest of eccentricity.” Ernst Jünger used forest-symbolism to take a philosophical-political approach against Nazism, Communism and what he saw as the totalitarian tendencies of modern Democracy in his 1951 work, Der Waldgang (“The Forest Passage”), writing of the “forest rebel”—the individual who, “isolated and uprooted” by the State, seeks to preserve his freedom in a totalitarian world by finding shelter in the forest. As for inward journeys seeking shelter—whether ideological or purely emotional—who can forget the captivating first line of Dante’s Inferno: “When I had journeyed half of our life’s way/I found myself within a shadowed forest/for I had lost the path that does not stray…”?

Northern mythology is, of course, the ancient precursor to such literary forest-imagery. Deep in the Black Forest, the noble Fürstenburg family resides and decades ago purchased from the then-impoverished German state the original Nibelungenlied, the epic poem of the North, one also born in the woods. In Scandinavian epic, the Poetic Eddas, the Norse god, Odin, hangs himself from the great ash tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights trying to acquire supreme power. One of the recurring symbols in German, Austrian, and Swiss Christian mythology is that of St. Hubertus, the hunter redeemed by a holy stag with a Cross between its antlers. Today, the sets of antlers one often sees above the front doors of villas and jagdhüte in German-speaking Europe are not hunting trophies as is commonly thought but representations of this Christian legend.

Why the German-speaking countries are so attached to their woods may be traced back to the legend of the Battle of Teutoburg as described by Tacitus in his history, Germania, when the soldiers of Arminius used the camoflauge of trees to distract the Romans, unhabituated to forests as these latter were, using surprise, guerilla-like attacks from the forests. Even the German word for “Western”—Abendland, or “Evening Land”—denotes the forest: height and maturity, as opposed to a developing country, called aMorgenland.

Then, too, there is Russia, with its own brand of Northern mythology and an intense forest-consciousness. As historian and Librarian of Congress James Billington wrote in his classic, The Icon and the Axe, the Russian Bear, according to legend, was originally a man who had been denied the traditional bread and salt of human friendship, and in revenge took on a new shape and retreated to the forest to guard against intrusions of humans, his former species. Leonoid Leonov’s great novel of the mid-fifties, The Russian Forest, describes how the Soviet regime played a central role in cutting down the forest, as it was a symbol of Old Russian culture.

The Forest is also history: There is the famous Castle Road leading out from Burgenland, the easternmost province of Austria, to Semmering, just south of Vienna, westward into Styria and to Carinthia, where among eighteen fortresses and castles one will come across Schloss Schalling, the “Castle of the Devils,” sitting reclusively, warily, within a rich Styrian forest, where one day in the 13th century two Babenberg princes translated the Magna Carta into High German. Then there is Burg Stubegg, a fortress another ten miles south, where Crusader knights chose to recuperate because the wines produced there were thought to be Heaven-sent. Any of these travels will certainly take one past the many castles of the Princes of Liechtenstein, themselves among the largest owners of forests in Europe and Latin America, whose princely dominions have guarded and guard the world’s greatest private collection of art.

But most of all, the Forest is the rootedness of life, it is Destiny—therefore, Time—for Faustian man, no matter his origin. As Spengler puts it, “nobility and peasantry are plant-like and instinctive, deep-rooted in ancestral land, propagating themselves in the family tree, breeding and being bred.” In aristocratic Mitteleuropa, the Forest became the means by which to preserve the long-term, in wealth and family. There was a famous “Fürstenspiegel” or “Mirror of Princes”—those classic instruction manuals for the education of a monarch, born in the kingdoms of Persia and written well into the European 19th century—that instructed Germanic princes on this very subject. Fürst (Prince) Gundaker von und zu Liechtenstein, in his Instructio et Consilium Pro Principe Regente of 1653, proposed an abstract theory on the relationship between land and longevity, time and money. “Das Geld ist sanguis corporis politici”—Money is the blood of the body politic—he wrote in the work’s preface, and no good prince, Holy Roman Empire-bred or otherwise, ever strayed from that awareness. This meant a firm tie to forested land which was, and remains to this day, the enterprise of choice for those old families: “Virgin forests turned into financial energy; the slumbering spirits of gold awakened in enterprise,” wrote Spengler (once more) in his beautiful formulation. Or, as Prince Gundaker remarks: “Timber, salt mines, gold, silver, quicksilver, copper and iron—these are Nature’s gift to the Intelligent.” His Fürstenspiegel further warns: “The prince should always make sure his financial situation is better than any rival, and should see to it that no other nobility has a greater financial reserve as he does.” Certainly his family name lived up to such promise from the woods that they owned.

But perhaps the most poignant example of this Faustian tie to land as the basis of family, wealth and History is to be told in the journey of one of the great woods of Europe from the pinnacle of vibrancy and production to utter modern-day waste and ruin. It was one day, around three hundred years ago, in the early-18th century, that Emperor Charles VI offered a distinguished old German family a large swathe of land in the Habsburg Kingdom of Croatia- Slavonia (modern Croatia and a part of Serbia) for militaryDienst (service) against invading Ottoman armies. The far-sighted noble family—the Eltz of the woods-rich Rhein—declined the offer as a gift, as they wished to stay Reichsfrei (“free” of the Emperor’s political and financial conditions), offering instead to by the land from his Imperial Majesty on the condition that the land be composed of the right soil—the palaces, titles, trimmings, etc. that would have come with ownership of that land were of little concern. A member of the family went to examine the soil, noting how it poured loosely through his fingers, was grainy and silky, sticking together but not clumping, forming a loose ribbon of earth.

It was a rich, loamy loess (a kind of sediment) soil—”that could feed the whole of Europe,” as has been said of that fertile land—born to a calcareous terrain rich in clay and well-supplied with calcium. It was a soil rare in Europe—a mild balance of opposing elements in a region of Europe used to extremes in more sense than one. This black earth was the product of the so-called “Pannonian” climate, one known for its stark summer heat and bitter winters, creating some of Europe’s best agriculture and… its very greatest oaks. The young man immediately recognized he had, literally in his hands, the makings of a great forestry industry—a mere two centuries down the line. And sure enough, by the mid-19th century, one hundred sixty years after their first oak harvest had been cultivated, the family emerged as one of the richest in Central Europe, their estate crowned by a stunning yellow and white baroque palace, as well as the original breeding grounds of the famous all-white Lippizzaner horses. The family had turned the soil of Slavonia into one of the most sought-after woods in the world—until, that is, the family was driven out and the woods, the oaks, the soil, and the palace were confiscated in part after World War I and then completely after World War II. Only the horses survived, having been sent out of the country in time to Austria, where they are still trained with the Eltz coat of arms on their pure silver bridles. The land fell into such ruin by the second decade of the 20th century that many of that land’s diverse new communal-owners—recipients of Socialist largesse—begged the family back to take up its management; the family declined. Only a picture of their palace on the back of the largest currency note in former-Yugoslavia remained as acknowledgement of what that family, blue-blooded but with love of forest coursing through their veins, once meant to the region.

“Here I am a Man. Here, I dare to be!” wrote Goethe of his beloved dreamscape excursions into the woods. That sense of “Being” is what the Forest is all about to the Faustian: the Mystery that inspires imagination—the most intense Reality that there is.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Right-Wing Gramscism

Whose Gramsci? Right-wing Gramscism

Rob van Kranenburg

We are in the proces of losing our foremost thinker of and on concrete historical scenarios, Antonio Gramsci, to a reactionary right-wing cause. Gramsci himself has become entangled in a position to which he had given much thought, namely, Ceasarism. Ceasarism can be said to express a situation in which the forces in conflict balance each other in a catastrophic manner: But Ceasarism “does not in all cases have the same historical significance. There can be both progressive and reactionary forms of Ceasarism; the exact significance of each form can, in the last analysis, be reconstructed only through concrete history, and not by means of any sociological rule of thumb. Ceasarism is progressive when its intervention helps the progressive force to triumph, albeit with its victory tempered by certain compromise and limitations. It is reactionary when its intervention helps the reactionary force to triumph, in this case too with certain compromises and limitations, which have however, a different value, extent and significance than in the former.”[1]

Although Gramsci makes it very clear that Caesarism is “a polemical ideological formula, and not a canon of historical interpretation” (220), that “a Caesarist solution can exist even without a Caesar, without any great, ‘heroic’ and representative personality” (220), we may well add Gramsci’s own name to his very own list which included Caesar, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and Cromwell, to name but a few. Tony Bennett wrote a decade ago that, “It is always tempting these days and especially at the end of long essays to wheel out Gramsci as a ‘hey-presto’ man, as the theorist who holds the key to all our current theoretical difficulties.” [2] Nevertheless his ‘hey-presto’ qualities seem to have faded somewhat in the progressive positions in cultural studies; but not, unfortunately, however, in extremely right-wing circles where his fundamental notion of hegemony is being hailed as a politically effective and productive way of gaining influence and political power. This seems to me to be one of the foremost fundamental productive questions in cultural studies: to what extent is Gramsci’s notion of hegemony politically neutral, and if so to what extent are we willing to let it be compromised? Not only is Gramsci misunderstood, as in the new elitist focus of McGuigan who blames the uncritical embracement of mass consumption on the hegemony theorists who have closed their eyes to an economic grounding of all cultural production, a position which can be easily refuted within Gramsci’s own framework: [END PAGE 14]

Can there be cultural reform, and can the position of the depressed strata of society be improved culturally, without a previous economic reform and a change in their position in the social and economic fields? Intellectual and moral reform has to be linked with a programme of economic reform indeed the programme of economic reform is precisely the concrete form in which every intellectual and moral reform presents itself. [3]

But within the progressive framework of cultural studies, his concept of hegemony is questioned as well, especially because “there are problems with distinguishing hegemony theory from the dominant ideology thesis; [4] the feminist perspective does “not accept such a privileging of capitalism over patriarchy as the determinate structure of ideological relations,” and ethnic

studies claims that ” the national-popular concept is in danger of suppressing specific dynamics of black and ethnic struggles” [5]. Moreover, “the problems of reconciling it [hegemony] with a theory of pleasure are insurmountable” [6].

Unfortunately, the French Nouvelle Droite movement headed by Alain DeBenoist, and the Flemish extremely right political party Het Vlaams Blok have no such insurmountable problems whatsoever with Gramsci’s notion of hegemony. On the contrary, they use it to their utmost ability and they’re not being shy about it. The Nouvelle Droite was founded as an ideological perspective in the mid- sixties by the French theorist Alain de Benoist. Ironically, it is inspired as an active movement by Gramsci’s Quaderni del carcere, and it literally calls the metapolitical struggle for cultural hegemony the Gramscism of the Right. I was first confronted with this rightwing theft of Gramsci by the journalistic writings of Marc Spruyt, who has since published a much needed, clear and precise account of rightwing party (meta)politics [7]. His book surely ought to be translated into English, especially given the specific French and Belgian context within which Gramsci is (mis)used in this manner. The lack of a translation enables the otherwise extensive works about Gramsci to completely miss this development: for example, Paul Ransome’s Antonio Gramsci: A New Introduction (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). Moreover, Ransome’s very last words in the conclusion now become ominous:

To the extent that Gramsci’s ideas provide Marxism with a new degree of flexibility and adaptability, it is likely that his influence will be felt for some time to come. Gramsci it seems has not been “relegated to the attic”.

This conclusion about “adaptablity” acquires a very different and altogether uncomfortable dimension if we become aware whose attic it is that we may be speaking about. Gramsci’s notes on hegemony in his prison writings are spread out throughout his text, deeply imbedded not infrequently within concrete historial situations and events as his was no disinterested academic exercise but a genuine attempt to understand the elements of a triumphant Italian fascism. We would however, not misrepresent him if we take his notion of hegemony to mean that in between [END PAGE 15] forced consent and active dissent we find passive consent, that cultural change precedes political change, and that changes must connect to an audience that is ready to respond. As Gramsci notes, “the supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways, as ‘domination’ and as ‘intellectual and moral leadership’. A social group dominates antagonistic groups, which it tends to ‘liquidate’, or to subjugate perhaps even by armed force; it leads kindred and allied groups. A social group can, and indeed must, already exercise ‘leadership’ [hegemony] before winning governmental power (this indeed is one of the principal conditions for the winning of such power); it subsequently becomes dominant when it exercises power, but even if it holds it firmly in its grasp, it must continue to ‘lead’ as well.[8]

Gramsci’s notion of hegemony, or rather on how hegemony is procured, is literally restated by the leader of the reactionary Het Vlaams Blok, Filip Dewinter: “The ideological majority is more important than the parliamentary majority, the former actually almost always precedes the latter” [9]. The theft of Gramsci by the Nouvelle Droite becomes especially unseemly in the case of the extreme right wing Flemish organization, Were Di, which finds its inspiration in the views of the Nouvelle Droite for three axiomatic foundations: “hereditary inequality, hierarchic society, elitist organisation” [10]. Now I will not overstate my case in claiming that most evidence in any court can be read both ways, that the corruption of notions and concepts has been reevaluated as appropriation or excorporation, but whenever there’s a line to be drawn, it is most certainly in this particular moment when Gramsci’s painstaking labour is turned against him and all he ever stood for. And, in as much as this is a moral stand, I plead firmly guilty. Because theoretically there is very little ground upon which to conclude that hegemony is not a politically neutral concept. There is but one moment in the Quaderni where Gramsci suggests that hegemony can only be understood in relationship with democracy:

Of the many meanings of democracy, the most realistic and concrete one in my view can be worked out in relation to the concept of ‘hegemony’. In the hegemonic system, there exists democracy between the ‘leading’ group and the groups that are ‘led’, in so far as the development of the economy and thus the legislation which expresses such development favour the (molecular)passage from the ‘led’ groups to the ‘leading’ groups. In the Roman Empire there was an imperial territorial democracy in the concession of citizenship to the conquered peoples, etc. There could be no democracy under feudalism, because of the constitution of the closed groups estates, corporations, etc (56).

But of course this will not stop anti-egalitarian, totalizing users of his ideas as they work within parliamentary democracy towards a dictatorship in which any of these considerations become ineffective and academic. So we are experiencing Ceasarism with “Gramsci” as the discursive battlefield, a catastrophic moment where a sound, productive concept–“hegemony”–is being abandoned by progressive positions and revitalised by reactionary forces. And again it is Gramsci himself who gives us the basic clue from which we have to try to start our understanding of his [END PAGE 16] contemporary position. For his remarks on Machiavelli can now be read as referring to his current position:

The habit has been formed of considering Machiaveli too much as the man of politics in general, as the ‘scientist of politics’, relevant in every period [11].

This is exactly what has happened with Gramsci’s notion of hegemony in progressive positions, they have overstretched its productive capacity to the extent that its inability to reconcile it with specific historical (contemporary) positions such as a theory of pleasure, a recognition of ethnic or feminist struggles has become to be viewed as a drawback of the original concept, an intrinsic inability that produces ‘insurmountable’ difficulties. But Gramsci of course would have been among the first to recognize that these are genuine critical contemporary problems that have to be taken into account in any reading of our concrete historical scenario; he, unfortunately, was concerned ‘only’ with his specific situation and his specific reading of the mechanisms of the making of Italian fascism. The position that suggests that the problems of reconciling hegemony theory with a theory of pleasure are insurmountable, has not understood Gramsci at all, does not acknowledge the plain fact that contemporary hegemony theory if it wants to be effective would include pleasure and a theory of pleasure as an important contemporary factor and yet another disguise of economic imponderables dressed up as cultural critique. And in the meantime, while we were talking, Gramsci has suddenly become an obscure man who died of pneumonia in a prison somehow, somewhere, and hegemony is something that has to do with the way the Nouvelle Droite sees things, right? Wrong:

Now they were walking down a narrow street, with old men on wicker chairs, and grandmothers playing with balloons to amuse their grandchildren. At the end of the street was suspended another gigantic portrait: a great domed head, like a beehive of thought, wearing glasses. That’s Gramsci. He put his arm round her shoulders so that she could lean her head against his damp flannel shirt. Antonio Gramsci, she said. He taught us all. You wouldn’t mistake for a horse dealer! he said [12].

NOTES

1. Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, Quintin Hoare, Geoffrey Nowell Smith (ed), Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1971; p. 219. Hereafter cited as SPN.

2. Tony Bennett, “Marxism and Popular Fiction” In: Popular Fictions, Essays in Literature and History Peter Humm, Paul Stigant & Peter Widdowson (ed.) Methuen, London and New York, 1986; p. 263

3. Notes, p. 133

4. Mercer, “Complicit Pleasures”, In T. Bennett, Mercer, Popular Culture and Social Relations, Milton Keynes, Open University Press, 1986, p. 66.

5. Ibid., p. 66

6. Ibid., p. 67 [END PAGE 17]

7. Grove Borstels, Stel dat het Vlaams Blok morgen zijn programma realiseert, hoe zou Vlaanderen er dan uitzien?, van Halewijck, 1995.

8. SPN, p. 254. A very similar passage in his notebooks reads: “A social group can, and indeed must already ‘lead’ [i.e. be hegemonic] before winning governemental power (this indeed is one of the principal conditions for the winning of such power)”. (SPN, p. 47).

9. Filip Dewinter in Zwartboek `Progressieve leraars’, cited from MarcSpruyt: Grove Borstels, p. 164.

10. Nationalistische Grondslagen, Were Di, 1985, p. 3.

11. SPN, p. 140.

12. John Berger in the story “Play Me Something” in his book Once in Europa Granta Books, London, 1991; p. 189.

For a look at the American rightwing use of Gramsci, see Charlie Bertsch’s “Gramsci Rush: Limbaugh on the Culture War” (reprinted in the IGS Newsletter, no. 6)

Originally posted at International Gramsci Society

Posted in Reactionary | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Canon Wars

Originally posted at Alternative Right

I’m happy that Jim Kalb has gotten the conversation started about the “conservative canon” in preparation for next year’s HL Mencken Club meeting.

I’ve never felt at home in the American “conservative movement.” Sure, I agree with conservatives that income taxes are too high and Big Government is bad etc. etc. etc.But that’s the easy stuff. I’ve always sensed that, deep down, movement conservatives and I are informed and motivated by drastically different worldviews. No more have I felt this way than when I encounter various movement certified “reading lists.”

The lists of recommendations usually strike me as decent, if deficient and myopically skewed towards writers whose views are consistent with contemporary Christianity and Republican egalitarianism.  (The best of these “to read” list is Chilton Williamson’s Conservative Bookshelf).

The movement’s various Indices Librorum Prohibitorum, on the other hand, have seemed to me deeply philistine.

Paul Gottfried told me that he was actually asked to suggests titles for a “Ten Most Harmful Books” lists put out by Human Events. His editors were expecting him to suggest Das Kapital and Mein Kampf, but Gottfried proffered The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom instead, for the charge of perverting American conservatism. (It didn’t make the cut.)

Anyway, these lists of “Stuff Conservatives Don’t Like” reveal quite a bit about them. Let’s look, for instance, at Benjamin Wiker, author of 10 Books That Screwed Up the World (2008), and a man who’s made a career out of wagging his finger at bad, bad thinkers, most of them European, whose works are incommensurable with the “conservatism” he prefers. (Conservatism = democracy + free markets + God (or rather contemporary Christianity) + civil rights  + the Constitution – Darwin – abortion – race. Got it?)

Here’s Wiker’s list of forbidden titles:

  1. Machiavelli, The Prince
  2. Descartes, Discourse on Method
  3. Hobbes, Leviathan
  4. Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of Inequality Among Men
  5. Marx, The Communist Manifesto
  6. Mill, Utilitarianism
  7. Darwin, The Descent of Man
  8. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
  9. Lenin, The State and Revolution
  10. Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization
  11. Hitler, Mein Kampf
  12. Freud, The Future of an Illusion
  13. Meade, Coming of Age in Samoa
  14. Kinsey, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
  15. Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

Thomas Woods Jr. blurbs, “Benjamin Wiker has read the worst books in Western Civilization so that you don’t have to.”

Okay…  I, for one, would expect any educated person to have read and studied titles 1-9 and 12, and to have at least a working knowledge of the ideas in 10-11 and 13-15.

Putting that aside—Conservatives love to repeat that “Idea Have Consequences,” but is it true that these books “screwed up the world”?

A lot of books that make lists like these are propaganda tracks—Mein Kampf,Quotations from Chairman Mao, What Is To Be Done?—whose influence died with the dictators who published them. To say that Mao’s “little red book” caused the Cultural Revolution is to seriously mis-wire the lines of historical interpretation. Whether the “Kinsey Report” and The Feminine Mystiquecaused the sexual revolution and feminism—or were themselves symptoms of a deeper problem—is a serious question—and one that “banned books” lists don’t help much in answering. (One should also make distinctions between books that are insidious and far-reaching, and those that are merely bad and wrong.)

Anyway, using Wiker’s list as a starting point, I’ve made a go at a reading list. I’ve limited myself to philosophy, political philosophy, and sociology, and I’ve also focused on the last 200 years of Western history (though I’ve made some obvious exceptions.) I’ve also divided these titles into sections to give an idea of the perspective from which one should read them. I don’t consider good books to be an unending sequence of Holy Writ. One must not only “know the enemy” but be educated by him as well.

I. Books that probably set the stage for egalitarianism, but which you should read anyway

  • Rousseau
  • Mill
  • Hegel (Needless to say, there is a right-wing Hegelian tradition—and it’s likely the textually correct one. I’ve heard one quip that the final battle between Left and Right Hegelians took place at Stalingrad!  Whatever the case, the Young Hegelian army has been far more influential.)

II. Illiberal Political Philosophy (Americans are unsympathetic to all these people, which is quite telling; this bug of an idea that sovereignty must be legalistic and democratic is deeply embedded in the American mind.)

  • Machiavelli
  • Hobbes (Jim and I disagree on Hobbes)
  • Carl Schmitt

III.Gods of the Left. (These are the people one must read in order to understand the left-wing mind—and that of the current regime.)

  • Marx
  • Freud
  • Critical Theory—Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse
  • (Post-)Structuralists & Co.—Foucualt, Levi-Strauss, Levinas, Bordieu

IV. The Left We Can Learn From (By this I mean leftists whose strategic and tactical insights are useful, due, in part, to the fact that they existed in similar social positions as rightists find themselves in today.)

  • Lenin
  • Gramsci

V. The Reactionary Tradition

  • Edmund Burke
  • Juan Donoso Cortés
  • Joseph de Maistre

VI. Confronting Modernity (These thinkers should be juxtaposed to the “reactionaries” in that they sought to think through the full implications of modernity and attempted to overcome it—push through it to the other side—as opposed to return to the past.)

  • Schopenhauer
  • Nietzsche
  • Heidegger
  • Spengler
  • Julius Evola

V. Biological Realism (American conservatives really, really hate this.)

  • Darwin, Francis Galton
  • Richard Lynn, John Philippe Rushton, and Arthur Jensen
  • Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard

VI.  Economic Realism (Traditionalists like to disparage economics. Applied logically, however, it is the only social science that is valid a priori. (E.g., increasing the quantity of a good will lower its marginal value in all possible worlds.) Hans-Hermann Hoppe has mentioned that no one can talk seriously about society without a working knowledge of economics (one that could be obtained by reading Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, for instance.) I agree.)

  • Mises
  • Rothbard
  • Hans-Herman Hoppe

VII. Contemporary Currents

  • Gottfried (After Liberalism)
  • James Kalb (The Tyranny of Liberalism)
  • Thomas Fleming (The Morality of Everyday Life)
  • “12 Southerners” (I’ll Take My Stand)
  • Kevin MacDonald (The Culture of Critique)
  • Murray Rothbard (Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays)
  • French New Right and Allies—Alain de Benoist and Giullaume Faye
  • Traditionalism

I consider this list a start—something to provoke discussion. And again, it is highly limited in that it omits the ancient and medieval worlds (and most of the early modern one).

We should also work on lists for essential historiography, including intellectual history, as well as poetry and novels. We also might want to create a list for “Non-Canonical Classics,” that is, great books that are timely, journalistic, and not written as philosophy—but nevertheless must be read. Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation, Patrick Buchanan’s Death of the West are excellent examples in this regard, but not the only ones.

Posted in Reactionary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

EU Federalization: The Pan-European Manifesto (Paneuropa)

EU Funded Pro EU Troll

paneuropean_SunCross_jpeg

Below is a translation of a document known as the Pan-European Manifesto, also known as Paneuropa.

This is the founding document of the Pan-European movement.

The original in German may be found here:

http://vv.varzil.de/II-01.PDF

NB: The translation is as close to literal as possible whilst remaining intelligible. Some passages may not read fluidly in English. The intention of the author is preserved. Minor changes have been made in order to ensure some passages are intelligible. The layout – paragraphing – is as per the German source. Typographic emphasis has not been preserved.


The Pan European Manifesto 

Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, 1923

Europeans! Europeans!

Europe’s fateful hour strikes!

In European factories weapons are daily forged to rend European men – in European laboratories daily are brewed poisons to exterminate European women and children.

Meanwhile, Europe is playing with inconceivable levity its fate; in incomprehensible blindness it does not see what is imminent; in incomprehensible inactivity it can is…

View original post 3,480 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism

I just wanted to share with you another short but interesting piece that I think is important towards building an American Identitarian movement. This piece is the Futurist Manifesto by  Filippo Tommaso Marinetti written in 1909. One tendency we have on the right is to be backwards looking i.e. reactionary or conservative. Going forward, it will be important to have a vision for our people and our movement and I feel that Marinetti touches on some interesting themes in his manifesto. Enjoy. 

The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism

We had stayed up all night, my friends and I, under hanging mosque lamps with domes of filigreed brass, domes starred like our spirits, shining like them with the prisoned radiance of electric hearts. For hours we had trampled our atavistic ennui into rich oriental rugs, arguing up to the last confines of logic and blackening many reams of paper with our frenzied scribbling.

An immense pride was buoying us up, because we felt ourselves alone at that hour, alone, awake, and on our feet, like proud beacons or forward sentries against an army of hostile stars glaring down at us from their celestial encampments. Alone with stokers feeding the hellish fires of great ships, alone with the black spectres who grope in the red-hot bellies of locomotives launched on their crazy courses, alone with drunkards reeling like wounded birds along the city walls.

Suddenly we jumped, hearing the mighty noise of the huge double-decker trams that rumbled by outside, ablaze with colored lights, like villages on holiday suddenly struck and uprooted by the flooding Po and dragged over falls and through gourges to the sea.

Then the silence deepened. But, as we listened to the old canal muttering its feeble prayers and the creaking bones of sickly palaces above their damp green beards, under the windows we suddenly heard the famished roar of automobiles.

‘Let’s go!’ I said. ‘Friends, away! Let’s go! Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We’re about to see the Centaur’s birth and, soon after, the first flight of Angels!… We must shake at the gates of life, test the bolts and hinges. Let’s go! Look there, on the earth, the very first dawn! There’s nothing to match the splendor of the sun’s red sword, slashing for the first time through our millennial gloom!’

We went up to the three snorting beasts, to lay amorous hands on their torrid breasts. I stretched out on my car like a corpse on its bier, but revived at once under the steering wheel, a guillotine blade that threatened my stomach.

The raging broom of madness swept us out of ourselves and drove us through streets as rough and deep as the beds of torrents. Here and there, sick lamplight through window glass taught us to distrust the deceitful mathematics of our perishing eyes.

I cried, ‘The scent, the scent alone is enough for our beasts.’

And like young lions we ran after Death, its dark pelt blotched with pale crosses as it escaped down the vast violet living and throbbing sky.

But we had no ideal Mistress raising her divine form to the clouds, nor any cruel Queen to whom to offer our bodies, twisted like Byzantine rings! There was nothing to make us wish for death, unless the wish to be free at last from the weight of our courage!

And on we raced, hurling watchdogs against doorsteps, curling them under our burning tires like collars under a flatiron. Death, domesticated, met me at every turn, gracefully holding out a paw, or once in a while hunkering down, making velvety caressing eyes at me from every puddle.

‘Let’s break out of the horrible shell of wisdom and throw ourselves like pride-ripened fruit into the wide, contorted mouth of the wind! Let’s give ourselves utterly to the Unknown, not in desperation but only to replenish the deep wells of the Absurd!’

The words were scarcely out of my mouth when I spun my car around with the frenzy of a dog trying to bite its tail, and there, suddenly, were two cyclists coming towards me, shaking their fists, wobbling like two equally convincing but nevertheless contradictory arguments. Their stupid dilemma was blocking my way—Damn! Ouch!… I stopped short and to my disgust rolled over into a ditch with my wheels in the air…

O maternal ditch, almost full of muddy water! Fair factory drain! I gulped down your nourishing sludge; and I remembered the blessed black breast of my Sudanese nurse… When I came up—torn, filthy, and stinking—from under the capsized car, I felt the white-hot iron of joy deliciously pass through my heart!

A crowd of fishermen with handlines and gouty naturalists were already swarming around the prodigy. With patient, loving care those people rigged a tall derrick and iron grapnels to fish out my car, like a big beached shark. Up it came from the ditch, slowly, leaving in the bottom, like scales, its heavy framework of good sense and its soft upholstery of comfort.

They thought it was dead, my beautiful shark, but a caress from me was enough to revive it; and there it was, alive again, running on its powerful fins!

And so, faces smeared with good factory muck—plastered with metallic waste, with senseless sweat, with celestial soot—we, bruised, our arms in slings, but unafraid, declared our high intentions to all the living of the earth:

MANIFESTO OF FUTURISM

  1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.
  2. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.
  3. Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.
  4. We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
  5. We want to hymn the man at the wheel, who hurls the lance of his spirit across the Earth, along the circle of its orbit.
  6. The poet must spend himself with ardor, splendor, and generosity, to swell the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
  7. Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man.
  8. We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!… Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed.
  9. We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.
  10. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.
  11. We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.

It is from Italy that we launch through the world this violently upsetting incendiary manifesto of ours. With it, today, we establish Futurism, because we want to free this land from its smelly gangrene of professors, archaeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians. For too long has Italy been a dealer in second-hand clothes. We mean to free her from the numberless museums that cover her like so many graveyards.

Museums: cemeteries!… Identical, surely, in the sinister promiscuity of so many bodies unknown to one another. Museums: public dormitories where one lies forever beside hated or unknown beings. Museums: absurd abattoirs of painters and sculptors ferociously slaughtering each other with color-blows and line-blows, the length of the fought-over walls!

That one should make an annual pilgrimage, just as one goes to the graveyard on All Souls’ Day—that I grant. That once a year one should leave a floral tribute beneath the Gioconda, I grant you that… But I don’t admit that our sorrows, our fragile courage, our morbid restlessness should be given a daily conducted tour through the museums. Why poison ourselves? Why rot?

And what is there to see in an old picture except the laborious contortions of an artist throwing himself against the barriers that thwart his desire to express his dream completely?… Admiring an old picture is the same as pouring our sensibility into a funerary urn instead of hurtling it far off, in violent spasms of action and creation.

Do you, then, wish to waste all your best powers in this eternal and futile worship of the past, from which you emerge fatally exhausted, shrunken, beaten down?

In truth I tell you that daily visits to museums, libraries, and academies (cemeteries of empty exertion, Calvaries of crucified dreams, registries of aborted beginnings!) are, for artists, as damaging as the prolonged supervision by parents of certain young people drunk with their talent and their ambitious wills. When the future is barred to them, the admirable past may be a solace for the ills of the moribund, the sickly, the prisoner… But we want no part of it, the past, we the young and strong Futurists!

So let them come, the gay incendiaries with charred fingers! Here they are! Here they are!… Come on! Set fire to the library shelves! Turn aside the canals to flood the museums!… Oh, the joy of seeing the glorious old canvases bobbing adrift on those waters, discolored and shredded!… Take up your pickaxes, your axes and hammers and wreck, wreck the venerable cities, pitilessly!

The oldest of us is thirty: so we have at least a decade for finishing our work. When we are forty, other younger and stronger men will probably throw us in the wastebasket like useless manuscripts—we want it to happen!

They will come against us, our successors, will come from far away, from every quarter, dancing to the winged cadence of their first songs, flexing the hooked claws of predators, sniffing doglike at the academy doors the strong odor of our decaying minds, which will have already been promised to the literary catacombs.

But we won’t be there… At last they’ll find us—one winter’s night—in open country, beneath a sad roof drummed by a monotonous rain. They’ll see us crouched beside our trembling aeroplanes in the act of warming our hands at the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when they take fire from the flight of our images.

They’ll storm around us, panting with scorn and anguish, and all of them, exasperated by our proud daring, will hurtle to kill us, driven by a hatred the more implacable the more their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us.

Injustice, strong and sane, will break out radiantly in their eyes.

Art, in fact, can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.

The oldest of us is thirty: even so we have already scattered treasures, a thousand treasures of force, love, courage, astuteness, and raw will-power; have thrown them impatiently away, with fury, carelessly, unhesitatingly, breathless, and unresting… Look at us! We are still untired! Our hearts know no weariness because they are fed with fire, hatred, and speed!… Does that amaze you?

It should, because you can never remember having lived! Erect on the summit of the world, once again we hurl our defiance at the stars!

You have objections?—Enough! Enough! We know them… We’ve understood!… Our fine deceitful intelligence tells us that we are the revival and extension of our ancestors—Perhaps!… If only it were so!—But who cares? We don’t want to understand!… Woe to anyone who says those infamous words to us again!

Lift up your heads!

Erect on the summit of the world, once again we hurl defiance to the stars!

Posted in Reactionary | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments